It’s still an uphill battle, especially when you’re already over the hill.

This week has been tumultuous to say the least.
I’d had my interview for the Dev Accelerator the week before, and felt like a buffoon during and after. One of my code challenge problems didn’t work (and I can’t say I’m surprised to realize that, as that one seemed simple on the outside, but as I was researching it, it just became more and more convoluted) and was asked to update and re-submit.
I thought about it for a day, did some work for it the next day, re-thought it the day after that and thought I had a handle on it by Saturday. I declined to have dinner with friends Friday so I could be well rested to work on this on Saturday. I declined going to another get together Saturday, because I knew I’d need all day.

After 13 hours, I had something that was pretty much almost working. I’d gotten stuck several times, and worked through it and was pretty happy with that. I knew I’d have to work on it more the following day, after I went to do my mom’s hair (ugh, even saying those words feels onerous.) When I came back to the challenge Sunday afternoon, I made at least one more step forward, and got stuck on some of the final functionality.

At that point, I thought, well, maybe if I just leave it for now, and come back to it in the morning…
Nope. I worked on it all Monday, at least as much as possible, around my TA duties at school. I worked on it at home that evening. I stayed home Tuesday morning and worked on it some more. During this time, I had two other people look at it (and made a tiny bit of progress, but not much) to no avail. By Tuesday evening, I felt really burnt on this. It was a challenging week for the students in lab on Monday and Tuesday as well, especially with the loss of one TA, and the implementation of another (who is great, but it’s an adjustment for the students) and one person missing Monday as well. I’ve been poking around at it since then, with no more success at tracking down the problem.

And that leaves me faced with the possibility of just doing it over again this weekend. Next week is the last week before the Dev Accelerator starts, and for all I know, it’s too late at this point already, but I’ve never really been one to give up, so maybe … I dunno. I’m feeling plenty of anxiety right now. As much as I love being a TA and certainly DO want to do that again, I feel like it is far more important to continue my education, and I feel like now (not later) is the time.

I went to a meetup last night, that was about Women in Tech and getting women into tech, etc.
The presentation was good, but it mostly served to remind how much more of an uphill battle I will have than most people. While I wasn’t the oldest person there, I was older than most (and older than the speaker, who I really liked), and again was reminded that for most people “career change” means: go from being an engineer or a teacher to being a developer. Yes, there are definitely people who go from the service industry into development, but…
I’ve also noticed that sometimes those people at least went to college before they ended up doing whatever non-tech, non-office job they’ve been involved in.
I certainly didn’t grow up with computers, much less my dad teaching me to program. My dad was a mechanic. No college. My mom tried to put herself through college when I was a kid, but never finished. I never had a computer in the house until I was 24. My parents have a computer now (if you can even call it that, it’s pretty sad) but they still have dial-up. DIAL UP. They don’t even have cell phones.
I’ve pretty much “rebelled” by completely embracing technology, especially in the last several years. At this point, it’s pretty difficult to even have a conversation with my mother because she doesn’t understand any of what I’m doing, or why.

So I’m an older woman with zero college trying to get into an already difficult to get into industry. As if it wasn’t going to be hard enough to be up against all the dudes, I have to wonder how much interest there will be in hiring me over some of these other women? Will anyone even consider me?

And that leads me to wonder if any of this is worth it. All the long hours, and lack of sleep and stress and anxiety over trying to get into a class that would theoretically help me get a job, and I wonder if that will even happen if I do get in and succeed in the class. I know I can succeed once I’m in the class. Will it be worth it?

At this point, I think I feel like even more of an outsider than ever before.

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